Drinks + Smoothies

best liquid for green smoothie Dr Fuhrman Eat to Live Program Green Smoothie Nutritarian recipe green smoothieI think we all know the drill by now: eat more raw veggies (especially greens) to live longer and lose weight.

Dr. Fuhrman’s nutritarian plan is all about loading up on salad.

“Salad is the main course!”  It’s the mantra that allowed me to lose 21 pounds on the 6 week plan without working out–so, that’s one powerful message.  During those 6 weeks, I ate a large salad as my main course for lunch and dinner.  I did it religiously.  It worked.

Now that I’m on the life-long nutritarian plan, I’ve learned that extending the “salad is the main course” principle to include breakfast sheds weight faster!  Dr. Fuhrman goes so far as to call a green smoothie a “blended salad!”

When I have my green smoothie in the morning I notice I have more energy and feel fuller longer than when I opt for just plain fruit or oatmeal and fruit for breakfast.

Why do you feel fuller longer when you start your day with a green smoothie?  Because you’re feeding your body the nutrients it needs in a very efficient way!

Eat to Live Program Dr Fuhrman Nutritarian Plan Green Smoothie tips and tricks

Wanna geek out with me on the science behind green smoothies?  Yay!  If not, scroll down to get tips and tricks and a basic Eat to Live green smoothie recipe!

The Scientific Reasons Why Green Smoothies Rock!

The key is that raw cruciferous veggies, like kale, collard greens and watercress, have some of the most important phytochemicals known to man.  And the very best way to get to those potent nutrients is by chewing well, juicing, chopping or blending.

First, a little refresher, with some scientific backing from Dr. Fuhrman’s latest, The End of Dieting:  Phytochemicals are complex chemical compounds that occur naturally in plants.  They support self-reparative mechanisms in cells and enable the body’s defense system to work against waste products, such as free radicals and advanced glycation end products–a.k.a. all the stuff that keeps us fat and unhealthy!

Cruciferous veggies have a special phytochemical: ITCs (short for a long scientific word you’ll forget anyway).  ITCs fight inflammation, inhibit supplying oxygen to your fat cells (thus helping them to die–yay!) increase you body’s detoxification enzymes and fight against cancer.  These ITCs are magic and you want them in your body.  All.  The.  Time.

So, we know we want raw cuciferous veggies and we know the best way to activate them is through blending, so how do we not mess this up?

Glad you asked!

First let’s talk liquids.

Eat to Live program Plan Dr Fuhrman top 3 best and worst green smoothie liquids

What’s the Best Liquid to Use For a Green Smoothie?


Boring, right?  I know, but it is hands-down the best liquid base for your green smoothie.  It doesn’t add any calories or interfere with the veggie goodness and the best part?  It’s free!

Runner up: coconut water.

This is my personal favorite.  But is has to be unsweetened.  Look for a brand that has one ingredient: coconut water. Period.  It’s actually harder than you think to find, so read labels.  I personally use ZICO.

100% coconut water has 50 calories for 8.45 ounces.  But what I love most is the potassium advantage.  Coconut water gives you 490mg of potassium (that’s 14% of your recommended daily value) woop woop!  It also brings in 4% calcium, 4% magnesium and 2% phosphorus.

There is some naturally-occurring sodium, which makes it not as good as water, but the electrolyte load is worth it in my book.

Third: Almond Milk.

You could lump soy, hemp and other nut-based milk into this category (though for me personally, almond milk has the best flavor to pair with raw greens).  Again, this only works if it is unsweetened.

So why the third-place status?  Mostly the processing and added ingredients like xantham gum and tricalcium phosphate.  If you make your own nut-milk at home, then your good to go!

Almond milk does win in one critical area: calcium.  You get 45% of your daily need with just 8 ounces!

Stay away from juice, coconut milk and dairy.

Juice provides a lot of calories without any of the fiber found in whole fruit.  Dr. Fuhrman does have some smoothie recipes that can for a half cup of juice or less, if you really must, be sure to keep it to a minimum.

Coconut milk has waaaay too much fat.  Enough said.  This is supposed to be a blended salad people, not a blended spinach dip!

Dairy would not only taste pretty gross with greens, but there are compounds in dairy that actually counteract all the veggie-goodness going on!

Eat to Live Nutritarian Program Green Smoothie Recipe Dr Fuhrman PBS

Always Add Seeds to Your Green Smoothie!

If you’re not already doing this you need to start now!

Seeds do two things: (1) they provide even more phtyochemicals and (2) the fats in seeds increase the absorption of the protective nutrients in vegetables eaten in the same meal.

So, image your kale (which is pretty darn spectacular by itself) magnified, pumped, charged, ready to kick some free-radical-ass!!  That’s what adding seeds to your green smoothie does!

Dr. Fuhrman recommends eating 2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed daily for their omega 3s and I just add those 2 tablespoons right into my morning smoothie.   They blend easily and have a mild nutty taste.

Another great seed to add is hemp seed.  They have almost no flavor (have a good dose of potassium and magnesium) and blend up nicely.

I do not recommend blending chia seeds into your green smoothie.  They get very gelatinous and it affects the consistency.  They do better sprinkled on top.

Dr Fuhrman Eat to Live Plan Program 6 week plan nutritarian The End of Dieting Green Smoothie Recipe

Go For The Greens!

This is my giant bag of chard, kale and spinach.  I buy it at Costco and stick it right into the freezer.  You don’t need to do anything fancy, they freeze easily and don’t clump together.

So, the main goal to attain the “perfect” Eat to Live green smoothie is to load up on the greens!  I absolutely stuff in as much as I can.  My goal is 2 cups of greens per serving.

Don’t worry the fruit is there to add sweetness.  You want to get right to that sweet spot where the greens’ taste is not too overpowering and it still taste slightly sweet.

Really push yourself to get as many in there as possible!

Dr Fuhrman PBS Eat to Live Green Smoothie recipe Vitamix nutritarian

A Basic Eat to Live Green Smoothie Recipe

Serves 1

  • 1 cup frozen fruit (I like to do half pineapple & half mango)
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 2 cups kale, chard and/or spinach
  • 1 1/4 cup liquid (water, coconut water or unsweetened nut-milk)
  • 2 tbsp. ground flax seed or hemp seed

Use this basic recipe and start incorporating green smoothies for breakfast most days a week!  Your going to feel a change in your energy level, you’re going to feel fuller longer (cause your body got a mega-dose of those phytochemicals it needs) and you’re going to be losing weight or more easily maintain your ideal weight!

xo, Kristen
Kristen Hong of Hello Nutritarian

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  • Jennifer says:

    JUST made this for breakfast. It. Is. Amazing. Used water as my liquid and it was perfect. I love what the hemp seeds add too! Thank you for the recipe! One question – I added some plant based protein powder. Does that mitigate the benefits at all? I always feel like I need to add protein to my smoothies in the mornings. I would love any thoughts on that! Hope you have a great day! xoxo

    • Kristen says:

      Hi Jennifer! Yay! I’m so glad you tried it out!! That is a really great question, so I went to my books! Dr. Fuhrman doesn’t advocate a diet that is too high in protein. “Almost all Americans get enough daily protein. In fact, the average American consumes more than 100 grams of protein each day, about 50% more than the recommended daily amount.” The danger really comes from animal-based proteins because they raise IGF-1 levels (an insulin-like growth hormone that has shown to be cancer-causing). “Protein-rich plant foods, such as seeds, beans, and greens, don’t raise IGF-1 levels, don’t contain pro-inflammatory substances, and are rich in anti-inflammatory and life-extending phytochemicals.” So, since your protein powder is plant-derived you should be fine! I think this might need to be a future blog post cause there is a lot of good information on this! About every other day I have a side of tofu eggs with my green smoothie!

  • Steph says:

    Do you have any suggestions for replacing the banana? I have a food intolerance towards them.

    • Kristen says:

      Hi Steph! Such a great question! So, I did a little digging around and found this article about banana substitutes.

      They recommend: oatmeal, chia seeds, avocado, frozen fruit (mango, peaches and young coconut), yogurt (I’d recommend a non-dairy one with coconut or almond milk).

      So, in this green smoothie recipe, you could use more mango, maybe 1/2 a cup extra.

      I hope this helps! Please let me know how it goes!

  • Judith says:

    Great post. Interesting that you don’t recommend chia especially using something like a Vitamix. I use 1 T each flax, chia, hemp and rolled oats. I soak the hemp and oats overnight and then add everything else using a NutriBullet. I never use banana and right now the only fruit is blackberry because I have lots in the freezer. I was using 2 T hemp and no rolled oats but I was running low on hemp so changed to the 1:1 and never looked back. But either way the smoothie came out super smooth and creamy so banana is not necessary and no sub needed.

    • Kristen says:

      Hi Judith!

      You raise a really important point about chia seeds!

      The other day I had run out of banana and wanted to make my usual morning green smoothie. About 1 tbsp of chia seed worked wonderfully to thicken the smoothie without the banana!

      The only reason I didn’t include rolled oats in the recipe is on Dr. Fuhrman’s plan you’re only allowed 1 cup of whole grains daily, so I wanted it to a recipe that could be used even if your whole grians quota had been met for the day!

      Thank you so much for sharing your subs for banana!!

      xo, Kristen

  • Rainbow says:

    Thanks for the recipe. I’m on my forst day of the 6-week plan and kindof freaking out about not being allowed my daily smoothie. This helps a lot.

    My question is about matcha. I started adding green tea powder to my smoothies a few months ago as a way to get caffiene without many calories (to replace my creamy, sugary coffee). Do you think adding matcha is going to affect the smoothie’s nutritional punch?

    • Kristen says:

      Hi Rainbow!

      Yay, so glad you’re liking the smoothie recipe! If anything, green tea can only make it better! Dr. Fuhrman lists green tea as one of the foods that help fight fat (you cna find the table on page 87 of The End of Dieting) and it also has special phytochemicals called “catechins” that have shown to absorb ultraviolet radiation and help prevent skin cancers!

      Thanks so much for your comment!

      xo, Kristen

  • Maria says:

    Hi,this is my third day and I have a terrible headache!…is this normal?

    • Kristen says:

      Hi Maria!

      Yes! It is very normal to have a headache on day three! You can read my first week journal here–I had the exact same withdrawal symptom!

      They will go away, although they are painful and annoying. It’s your body’s process of getting healthier!

      xo, Kristen

  • Kelly says:

    Do you add the ground flax or hemp seeds into your frozen smoothie bags? Or do you add it with the coconut water when you blend? Thanks!

    • Kristen says:

      Hi Kelly!

      So I don’t include the seeds in my smoothie prep packs, but I don’t think there would be any difference if you did!

      Go ahead and give it a try!

      xo, Kristen

  • Martha says:

    Kristen I was wonder about the green smoothie,I add ginger,celery,green apple,parsley and juice it. It is better to place it in the blender and I like your hones opinion. Sometimes instead of the morning time I will have it in the afternoon.

    • Kristen says:

      Hi Martha!

      So, Dr. Fuhrman advocates for smoothies over juices because the juicing removes the fiber from the fruits and veggies. You could absolutely blend your celery, apple, ginger and parsley!

      And yes, you can have your smoothie at any time, I usually pick breakfast because I strive to get in two giant salads each day for maximum health and weight loss benefits!

      xo, Kristen

  • Brad says:

    Where have you been the last year of my life??? I found your site on the eat to live Facebook group and can’t stop browsing. I’ve been following the eat to live program for the last year and so my I’ve found so many helpful tips – thank you! I love you idea of adding frozen green. I usually make salads for the week on Sunday and I’m often not left with any other greens for smoothies. Thank you!!

    • Kristen says:

      Hi Brad!

      So happy you found the blog and that you are part of the ETL facebook group!

      I’m so glad you’ve found content that is helping you in your health journey!

      Yes, you can buy a head of kale and just throw it right in the freezer for smoothies!

      xo, Kristen

  • Bryna Christensen says:

    I have been using a Magic Bullet to mix my smoothies, but find it does not blend well when using frozen fruits. Is there a blender that you love?

  • Mardelle says:

    Hi Kristen! When you say 2 cups of greens, do you compact them down into the measuring cup?
    Thx Mardelle

    • Kristen | Hello Nutritarian says:

      Hi Mardelle!

      Yes, stuff them in there–you want as many as you can get!

      xo, Kristen

  • Rebecca says:

    Is there something less starchy I can use besides banana? Or is there a certain reason it’s added, such as flavor? I tried it this morning and have a week supply prepared. It was delicious!

  • Carrie says:

    Hi Kristen,
    I noticed on your 6 week diary you had fruit and/or almond butter for most breakfasts, or oatmeal. Is there a reason you are recommending smoothies? Which is better for weightloss and health? I’ve noticed that smoothies can sometimes give me (ahem) diarrhea.

  • Sara says:

    I’ve recently started doing green smoothies every day as a way to get in the greens and fruit (which I’m not a big fan of). I was adding pre-milled flax seed (Bob Mills), but then read how the store bought milled flax seed has lost it’s nutrients before you even get it home. So I bought a cheap coffee grinder today and a bag of whole flax seeds and starting tomorrow I’ll be grinding my own seeds! I’ve also started doing a 1/2 ounce flax seed/1/2 ounce sunflower seed combo in my smoothies and I can’t taste the sunflower seeds at all when it’s all blended together (another thing that I’m not a fan of lol). Green smoothies make it so easy to get in the good stuff, even the ones you might not like 🙂

    • Kristen | Hello Nutritarian says:

      Hi again Sara!

      I can’t thank you enough for all the lovely and thoughtful comments you’ve shared ont he site–please know that I value each and every one of them!!

      WOW!! You are awesome!! I’ve been thinking about doing the same and then I just lazy-out–but you are seriously inspiring me to get on the fresh-ground bandwagon!!

      xo, Kristen

      • Vickey says:

        Throw the seeds into the Vitamix first, grind them up, then add the other ingredients. Saves a step and a wash-up.

        Love love love! this site. Thank you!

  • Erin says:

    what about organic rice, organic hemp, or organic grain milks instead of almond milk? I really can’t stand almond milk. I understand why not coconut milk with the fat. Thanks in advance

    • Vickey says:

      Erin, she says in the recipe discussion you can use any unsweetened non-dairy milk, with preference being given to those that have the least added ingredients (thickeners, etc.) HTH

  • Kathy Doby says:

    I’m so thankful to have found your site! I’ve been nutritarian for several years and love all your encouragement and tips. It’s hard living with people who think I’m a little extreme–but they all are drinking green smoothies now. I always add berries to my smoothies since Dr Fuhrman recommends eating them every day. I also find that cucumber makes my smoothies light and refreshing.

    • Kristen | Hello Nutritarian says:

      So wonderful to meet you Kathy!

      I’m so happy you found you way to the site!

      Oh, I definitely understand about living with non-nutritarians, I have 3 of them 😉

      Thank you so much for adding such great tips to green smoothie guide! I’ve been meaning to add cucumber to mine as well–thank you for the re-inspiration!!

      xo, Kristen

  • Mishael Williams says:

    Hello Kristen!

    I have found your blog ever so helpful and motivational! I have begun this nutritarian lifestyle and I’m 100% in! I’m trying to track calories however and I’m finding it difficult. How many calories are in the green smoothie made with coconut water?

    Thanks for all you do!

  • Suzy Phelps says:

    My husband is on a blood thinner. Is it bad to use greens in a smoothie as they are vitamin K , which is a blood thinner. What is safe?

    • Kristen | Hello Nutritarian says:

      Hi Suzy!

      I would really ask his doctor about that as I’m not sure!

      xo, Kristen

  • Linda Anderson says:

    Would adding cocoa or cacao to smoothies be a no no?

  • CarolineT says:

    Thank you for these posts….I can leave out the banana! …..hooray! But may need to eat my smoothie with a spoon – too thick things remind me of my dad giving me ‘special’ cherry flavoured cough medicine!!! Yuk! I couldn’t swallow it !

    • Vickey says:

      Carolinet, you could always add more liquid so your smoothie is drinkable.

  • Leah says:

    I love this site and it is so inspiring! I have a quick question for you that has plagued my smoothie life for years! I am allergic to Bananas and have always struggled to ind a substitute for smoothies that gives some texture to the smoothies!

    Thanks for your help!

    • Kristen | Hello Nutritarian says:

      So wonderful to met you, Leah!

      To mimic that banana texture you might want to add a 1/2 tbsp of raw chia seeds. They have a gelatinous texture when blended and I’ve used them when I run out of bananas!

      xo, Kristen

  • Anne says:

    How many servings would this smoothie recipe make? One or two? Do you drink the entire batch as your breakfast or do you separate it and have it over two mornings?

  • Susan says:

    Hi Kristen I’m so glad I found your website, I’m trying to change my lifestyle with healthier eating so I’ve started this plan. Had the smoothie for breakfast and it’s not bad but I’m still hungry or I just need something to chew on, any suggestions? Also it says eat salads as your main meal but not eat anything in between meals what can I have after the salad to feel up?

    • Kristen | Hello Nutritarian says:

      Hi Susan!

      So excited to hear that you’ve started your nutritarian journey!

      In the beginning you’re going to “feel” like you’re hungry but it’s really withdrawal symptoms you’re experiencing. Have you read on of Dr. Fuhrman’s books yet? He does a great job of explaining what to expect on the body processes level!

      After your giant salad you can have soup, a veggie-stuffed pita, a buddah bowl–lots of options! I have a whole library of free daily meal plans here!

      You’ll find some great ideas and recipes there!

      xo, Kristen

  • Jo says:

    Will the smoothie keep in fridge or freezer if I make on the weekend? I can’t run the blender in the mornings due to everyone’s sleep schedules.

    • Kristen Hong says:

      Hi Jo,

      I’ve never pre-prepped the smoothie. I do know some people will blend them ahead and keep in the fridge, they change texture, but I do think you could keep them fresh in a Mason jar. I wouldn’t do more than one day prepared ahead of time.

      xo, Kristen

  • John Seibert says:

    Consume morning smoothies every day usually with POM, expensive but OK,right?

    Smoothies 3/daily for a week ok? The only cooking I know!

    • Kristen Hong says:

      Hi John, that sounds good, the real key if you’re going nutritarian is to get 1 pound raw and 1 pound cooked veggies daily–that’s where the real healing and positive benefits occur!

      Wishing you all the best!

  • Heidie Simms says:

    How do you measure out a pound of veggies each day without a scale?

    • Kristen Hong says:

      If you can I’d definitely recommend a simple kitchen scale–you can find them on Amazon for under $10! It will help you immensely!

      But as a rough estimate: 2 cups tightly-packed greens with 1 cup chopped toppings (carrots, cucumber, tomatoes, onions, cabbage) will weigh in around at least half a pound (about 250 grams).

  • Mo says:

    Thank you for all you do! I know this post is super old, but I noticed you wrote Dr, Fuhrman says to eat 2tbsp of ground flaxseeds, but in everything else, it says only one. Haaaaalp! (in my Leeloo voice).

    • Kristen Hong says:

      LOL! Okay, I love the 5th Element–so awesome reference!

      If you saw him say one tbsp definitely go with his measurements!

      I will be updating this recipe soon!

  • Jennifer R. says:

    Could you make a big batch of the green smoothie on Sunday and have it on hand throuhgout the week? (Just needing to stir it all back in if it separates.) I’m getting back on the Nutritarian lifestyle journey and am excited to start feeling better again!! (Lactose intolerant and gluten sensitive here)

    • Kristen Hong says:

      Hi Jennifer, yes you can absolutely do that if you wish!

  • Rhonda Fischer says:

    Would love to get myself in shape and help others. I will be opening a healing Airbnb to help others with cancer, immune problems like sarcoidosis, and heart valve replacements. Most don’t know what to do when they get diagnosed with cancer including me. But if you don’t change what you have been doing, you will get what you always got. Cancer may return, but we must fight back. This is my way…..

    • Kristen Hong says:

      Hi Rhonda, I think that’s such an amazing thing to do! I agree that it must feel absolutely overwhelming when you get a diagnoses like that! Wishing you all the best in your mission!

  • Amy says:

    Banana plug me up. What can I use instead?

    • Kristen Hong says:

      Hi Amy, I’m not sure on a substitution suggestion for that–maybe do a Google search for people who’ve experimented with that substitution?

  • Joel says:

    I have been following Dr Fuhrman for quite a while, I am eating a mostly vegan whole food diet. For a 3/4 year I tried loosing 20 lbs with 16:8 Intermittent Fasting but only lost 8 lbs. I am so excited to have found your amazing website and get started with some serious diet modifications.

    Today I tried the green smoothie for the first time and it was very thick I had to add an additional 1/4 cup almond milk and a 1/2 cup water. I only used Frozen Spinach (no kale or chard), Is this the reason why it was so thick?

    Also in the 6 week plan you eat oatmeal and fruits for breakfast, is that in addition to the green smoothie? or these are 2 separate plans?


    • Kristen Hong says:

      Hi Joel! Congratulations on your established nutritarian lifestyle!

      There are variations in the sizes/weights and even consistency of the produce (bananas especially) that can cause differences in the consistency.

      So in my collection of daily menu plans I have a green smoothie for some breakfasts or oatmeal and fruit and then on other days I’ll have tofu eggs. So, no it’s not in addition to.

  • Kim says:

    I add a bunch of things to my morning smoothie, which has a base similar to your version, except I use frozen berries as my main fruit along with 1/2 to 1 small banana One unusual add-in is 2 cooked button or Bella mushrooms. I don’t love mushrooms (though I will eat them) and this helps me get my daily dose of M in the GBOMBS.

    • Kristen Hong says:

      WOW! Kim that is such a great way to get your mushrooms in there! Thanks so much for sharing your amazing modifications–this will be very helpful to many!

  • Colleen K Parker says:

    Oh this was delicious!!!

    • Kristen Hong says:

      I’m SO happy to hear that! Thanks for taking the time to let me know you enjoyed it Colleen!

  • Kathy says:

    Kristen, I have IBS so I’m not sure how my tummy would react to alot of these foods. But I love to eat this way. Just don’t want to upset my tummy.

    • Kristen Hong says:

      Hi Kathy,

      When I went to Dr. Fuhrman’s retreat in 2019 he addressed this topic. He told us that the reason people get digestive issues when switching to this lifestyle is because their gut biome has not be cultivated with enough fiber-eating healthy bacteria to ease this type of digestion. So the only way to develop that population is by eating these foods but you will want to do it gradually over a space of two to three months until your gut has adapted and digestion becomes easier.

      Hope this helps to share that there is a light at the end of the tunnel!

      All the best,

  • adinah kranzler says:

    I’m losing faith in this nutritarian plan. I’,m vegan thanks to Dr, Fuhrman and the Hippocrates Health Institute but I’m not losing weight. I’m craving real food and need encouragement.

    • Kristen Hong says:

      Hi Adinah,

      Something that helped me to lose body fat was walking for one hour a day. You can work up to it starting out with 15 minutes, then 30 then 45 and finally an hour. It really targets body fat specifically and it doesn’t put the stress on your body that higher-intensity workouts do.

      Give that a try along with eating nutritarian and let me know how it goes after 4 weeks!

      xo, Kristen